The Clemson staff will go anywhere in the country in order to grow as coaches. Last season, that included trips to Nevada and Oklahoma State for Dabo Swinney and his guys.
Their visit to Reno was to study the pistol formation, while the visit with Mike Gundy and his staff was to get ideas on how to get their best receivers the ball when everyone knew it was coming. Last season the Tigers averaged about 40 more yards per game on the ground than they did in 2011, and receiver DeAndre Hopkins broke the single season record for catches, yards and touchdowns.
Visiting with staffs is one thing, finding ways to successfully implement their ideas is another, and judging from those results, I think we can all agree that the trips were well worth it.
This season, the Clemson offensive staff has continued those "professional development trips" making their way out to Arizona State to visit with Arizona State offensive coordinator Mike Norvell, while also opening their doors to the Ohio State staff. Both visits provided Dabo's guys the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business.
“We learn from everybody. We don’t have all the answers here, we are far from that.” Dabo said.
With the offenses in the NFL starting to evolve and take on different shapes, it's no secret that many NFL staffs are looking to the college ranks for ideas, and to also do whatever they can to make the transition to the league as smooth as possible for young players. With that in mind, the Atlanta Falcons took a trip to Clemson to do some learning, and dish some knowledge of their own as well.
“I’d be surprised if there’s not an NFL team that hasn’t gone and spent some time with (college) coaches in the offseason,” Swinney told The Post and Courier . “(NFL teams are studying) the zone-read and what you are trying to coach offensively, but also things that give you problems from a defensive standpoint, like studying the pistol, with what you’ve seen in the league over the last year with RG3, Kaepernick and Russell Wilson and the success they’ve had with the read option."
With an NFL staff in town hungry for knowledge, Dabo added that the learning process is an ongoing two way street.
“Football coaches, they beg, borrow and steal from everybody they can get something from. We don’t just give them information, we learn as much as we can.”
That's what coaching is all about folks.